5 days post micro-discectomy

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain
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Tuff Girl
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:43 pm

5 days post micro-discectomy

Post by Tuff Girl » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:59 pm

I'm new to this forum, & basically joined for the support of friends who have been through or who understand what I'm going through (& will go through). I'm a female in my early 40's, very healthy & of good weight & physical condiiton, & very active. I had a HUGE herniation (exact words of radiologist) of L5/S1. Now, mind you, I'd suffered a mild herniation to the area when I was a kid ("Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be horse jumpers...."), it appeared to heal over fine, & I never had any significant problems with my back all these years (minor aches & pains I've managed for years with stretching & an occassional, but rare, visit to a legit chiro - - well, met few non-legit ones early on, but I did research & learned fast what to avoid). Well, after almost a year of ignoring low-grade low back pain because I was slap-busy (no care of any type except my OWN stretching that felt good - mistake #1), I woke up one morning with excruciating left leg pain & violent spasms of entire right leg, with some numbness & tingling of my foot. After a whirlwind of an ambulance ride, & a fiasco at the ER, my doctor started therapy correctly- but my foot was progressively getting worse over few days so I went back, had a stat MRI to find out that the disc was herniated & was stranglulating the sciatic nerve. So, my normally conservative osteopath tells me he's getting me in stat with the neurosurgeon in town he'd trust his back to now (all I could think was "WOW! This IS bad!").

NS tells me they treat 90% of herniations who walk through their door with PT for 60-90 days before considering surgery (of which he says 80% never need surgery - which I believe, as its a very busy practice who have TOO many surgical candidates, so I believe this!), but that I'm not one of them.... Says if we wait more than a month for surgery, I'll probably lose most feeling in my leg. Well, he schedules me as a stat micro-discectomy surgery within a week. Today I'm 5 days out of surgery, & though I'm scared, I think I'm doing pretty well considering the damage I did to myself, & I DON'T regret my decision, & heres why:

I've noticed on this forum that most folks are very anti-surgery. All I have to say is that for those with a bad sciatic impingement who've recovered to 100% or near 100% without surgical intervention, I think thats awesome. However, I know enough about anatomy, to know when the surgeon told me the risks of NOT doing anything but PT and injections was honestly not an option, & I would be crippled without, I knew he was not lying to try & make another payment on his Navigator.... And turns out he's right. He tells me after surgery it's good we got to it when we did, as any longer, the impingement probably would have eventually SEVERED the nerve! And that it
was very badly choked, & he was so surpised I even had the feeling I had prior to surgery! - He attributed that to my good health & body condition, and also says this will mean I should be able to be back to doing 100% of what I was doing before surgery (if I follow all the rules of therapy, of course).

So, anyway, long story short (yeah, right), I'm right now bound & determined to get this thing to heal right & be that 100% the doc says I can be.... Fortunately, so far I seem to be pain-free now, just still have the outside of leg/bottom of foot paresthesia. NS says nerve was very angry by time he got done (as stated, my nerve was actually being strangled, so he had a lot of work to do around nerve), so it will take a while for the nerve to heal from insult of injury & subsequent surgery - but I should get back all feeling eventually, since we took care of this quick. He says I'll be in PT for 3 months (wow!), & I should be cleared for my part-time desk job in about a month, & cleared to do just about anything else in 3 months. My whole life for the next 3 months will be centered around rebuilding my back - & that's OK. Time to take care of me... I don't know what the future hold for me, but I do know that my attitude with have a lot to do with my outcome!

I'm soliciting for any positive feeback regarding the Rebuilding My Back process - & will also be happy to field questions about those considering surgery..... Thanks!

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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:33 am

Re: 5 days post micro-discectomy

Post by bww » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:59 am

tuff girl,

well glad to see your positive outlook on the operation and of course the positive results. I am having a micro disectomy on l-4 l-5 in 2 days. ruptured disc and severe stenosis...resulting in severe nerve pain in both legs...

my neurosurgeon has a history of being very conservative but due to the severity of my pain and the size of the protrusion he didn't really skip a beat when he recommended this surgery. I can't even sleep at this point the pain is so strong...so anxiously waiting for relief...

how has your recovery been to date?...I am 34 and very active and healthy as well no weight issues and I am hoping that it helps with my recovery...thanks for your post

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